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Cingular 8525 Roaming Problems

May 2, 2007

I just bought a Cingular 8525 phone and the thing would not work in any Latin American country where I often need to travel on business. After spending over 2 hours on the phone with Cingular (calling international, thank you…) they told me that the phone was bad, that the operators in Brazil would not support their phone and a bunch of other nonsensical explanations. Well after having them ask me to remove the battery and SIM card for the 8th time I gave up on support and started searching the web for more intelligent beings…

I found this page that covers this topic for the BlackJack, and half way down you can find the hack that works on the 8525.

The fix is very simple and all you need to do is to enable the Band selection tab on your Phone settings application.

Get a registry editor for your Windows Mobile (free, or commercial) and change the following:

  • Open Key \HKLM\Software\OEM\PhoneSetting\
  • Change value “ShowUMTSBandPage”= dword:00000001

Cingular defaults the ShowUMTSBandPage to 0 which hides the Band tab, and creates all this mess. Incredible how such a small change can cost them, and us, so much time and money!

Here’s my unsolicited advice: STOP crippling your phones on purpose, your customers are not that stupid.

Now goto Start > Settings > Personal > Phone > Band and change:

  • Network Type from Auto to GSM, and
  • GSM/UMTS Band from Auto to GSM (900+1800)+UMTS(2100)

If you get an error when pressing the Ok, just change to the Network tab after you make the changes and then press the Ok button.

Reboot the phone and you should now work in GSM only networks. The settings shown above are the ones that worked for me in Sao Paulo Brazil.

An important “side effect” of changing your phone from UMTS to GSM is the battery time. Once in GSM mode the battery lasts twice as much. I now have my 8525 in GSM mode most of the time and switch it to UMTS when accessing the web or email.

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From → Mobile Phone

One Comment
  1. Rick permalink

    Thank you, it works.

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